Richmond joins Delta in opposing T2

The City of Richmond has joined Delta in opposing the proposed major container terminal expansion at Roberts Bank.

In a recent letter to Delta’s mayor and council, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, noting the findings of an independent review panel, wrote that despite the potential economic benefits the Terminal 2 project in Delta may offer, Richmond is concerned with the report’s findings which list numerous potential significant adverse environmental and human effects.

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“The City relies on the Fraser River estuary to reduce the impacts of flooding and improve the community’s quality of life. Our vision of a healthy, safe island community is at risk from the expansion of industry in the Fraser River estuary and the impacts of climate change,” Brodie wrote.

Brodie, also noting his council voted to convey opposition, sought the City of Delta’s support to do the same “due to the extraordinary adverse impacts that a project of this magnitude may cause.”

Delta Mayor George Harvie this summer had already sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, asking them to deny the T2 application.

That recommendation was also based on the federal review panel’s report on the project.

The federal government has been considering application by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which is hoping to build a three-berth container facility that would be located a new man-made island adjacent to the exiting port.

A decision was expected this November, which would have already been an extension due to COVID-19.

The port in August sent a letter to Wilkinson seeking an extension of the deadline for making a decision.

The port noted it would allow time to undertake additional consultation with Indigenous groups and other stakeholders, as well as work on mitigation and offsetting plans.

The minister responded with a request for additional information on the mitigation plans, as well as asking for updated economic and employment estimates.

As a result, the federal timeline to make a decision was paused and the government is not expected to issue its decision this year.

A Delta city staff report to council notes that more work needs to be done on the proposed mitigation plans.

Outlining a lengthy list of mitigation measures, the port notes T2 is designed to meet Canada’s long-term trade demands.

It’s a “critical generational project” along with an expansion at the Centerm facility to meet the forecasted demand for trade of goods in containers, the port authority states.

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